The Department of History introduces students to the richness and complexity of the human experience through a curriculum that covers all major geographic areas and time periods, and emphasizes both the unity of that experience and the diversity resulting from such factors as cultural, social, and gender differences. We seek to develop not only a knowledge of the past, but also an appreciation of history as an intellectual discipline that employs a wide variety of scholarly methodologies in its effort to understand that past. Students are taught to think and work as historians: to read critically and analytically both primary and secondary sources, to appreciate the complexity of historical issues and multiplicity of historical views, and to investigate a historical question or problem and communicate the results of that investigation. Through this broad preparation, history majors acquire essential knowledge and critical skills, which provide valuable assets for a wide spectrum of professions and occupations as well as the fundamental basis for advanced study.
Program objectives for a B.A. in History are:
(a) a fundamental knowledge of the past, including key historical events, ideas, figures, movements, and periods;
(b) an awareness of the diversity of historical experiences over time and space;
(c) the ability to recognize, locate, analyze critically, and utilize primary and secondary sources;
(d) the ability to recognize and evaluate differing historical interpretations and methodologies;
(e) the ability to research a topic thoroughly using both primary and secondary sources, and to present a clear and well-written historical argument based on that research;
(f) express a high degree of satisfaction with the quality of the education received in that program.